On a warm July afternoon in 2018, Matt and Mark St. John are preparing for a game against a struggling Bexar County team.
They’re in the final week of a six-week offseason program.
It’s a Thursday, which means the St. Johnsons have to go home, and they can’t leave the team bus parked in their driveway.
“If I’m at the bus stop, I have to wait for him,” says Mark St., the team’s running backs coach.
“He has to wait at the stop.
If he’s on the bus, he has to make it on the buses, and if he’s in the stands, he must get on the stands.
So he has no choice.
And I know that’s not how it’s supposed to work, but that’s the way it is.”
St.john has spent the past four years coaching in the NFL’s developmental league, where he’s helped lead a few of the league’s most promising running backs through a grueling, off-season program.
And now he’s coaching in what might be the toughest competition in his entire coaching career: The draft.
The St. Louis Rams are the favorites to take him with the No. 7 overall pick, and the St-Johns know they’ll have to choose carefully.
They’ve just lost their starting quarterback to injury, and a backup wideout has been out since training camp.
It could be a long season for the St Johnsons, who’ve been working out and preparing for the draft for the past two years.
They haven’t made the playoffs since 2010, and there’s no guarantee the Rams will make the playoffs this year either.
So the St Johns are counting on a good season from Mark St, who is just 23 years old and the son of former NFL offensive lineman and Hall of Famer Brian St. Pierre.
“I’ve seen some players come through the program and I know I have some similarities,” St. john says.
“So I’m trying to get my son ready to play.”
The St Johnses’ journey to the NFL is part of a growing trend in the draft.
It has been happening for years now, and it’s been fueled by the success of NFL teams that don’t necessarily need to build a roster out of undrafted free agents.
But the NFL now has more and more incentive to keep bringing in young, promising players to fill the roster holes.
The league is pushing its teams to find more developmental prospects, as teams have to pay the players who have the potential to be NFL players, but they don’t have to.
The process is much more collaborative, where a coach can go to a player’s college or university and convince him to stay at the program.
“A lot of these guys are getting a lot of exposure to their peers and other guys who have been through it, and we’re kind of starting to build some trust, too,” says Kevin Demoff, the director of development for the NFL Players Association.
“But it’s a long process.
A lot of guys don’t get drafted until they are 24, 25 years old.
“You have to have a willingness to work hard, to have the ability to do whatever it takes, to be humble. “
I think this has been one of the hardest things I’ve had to deal with,” Gossages says. “
You have to have a willingness to work hard, to have the ability to do whatever it takes, to be humble.
I think this has been one of the hardest things I’ve had to deal with,” Gossages says.
Brett GOSSAGES FAVORITE PLAYER, MATT, HAS NO PROBLEM PLAYING DEVELOPMENTAL BACKS: Brett GOSSEY: Matt St.
John: “Matt is a special player.
He’s a football player.
If you look at him, he’s a special talent.
He has great size, he plays with good instincts.
He can run hard and he’s good in pass protection.
I like him a lot.
I’d love to have him here with me.”
JohNSON: “I think we’re both getting along really well.
We’re both trying to learn as much as we can about the NFL.
We’ve played together for a couple of years.
We just talk about how we got here, and what it took to be successful.
So we’re definitely on the same page.”
P: “It’s a great experience for us, but it’s something we can take for a little while.
We have to get back to being in college and getting our degree.
But for now, we just have to make sure we’re working as hard as we’re able to, and try to do it in the best way possible.”
Brett GOSSAGE: “We’re looking forward to the season